Posts tagged “waiting”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Getting in (and Out of) Line [] – [What are the economic behaviors – and motivators – of waiting in line, and how is the pursuit of the money shifting those standards?] A line conceives of people as citizens, presumed equal, each with an identical 24 hours a day to spread among the lines around them. A market conceives of people as consumers, presumed unequal, with those who can pay in front of the others. It allocates efficiently, but it eliminates a feature of line culture: the idea that, in line at least, we are no better than anybody else. In a way, the market’s spread is a return to another kind of scrum, one in which financial, and not physical, might means right. Perhaps one day lines will be remembered as antique, a quaint system in which things were granted simply for having shown up early, an interlude of relative equality between the scrums that reigned before and after. [Thanks, Anne!]
  • [from steve_portigal] Diary of a ‘portable people meter’ person [SF Chronicle] – [What it's like to be a human subject for gathering radio station data] "I was a good panelist," she said. "I wore the meter all the time and followed the instructions. I didn't find it that intrusive. But I wouldn't take it to some occasions, like out to dinner, and they want you to wear it all day, from the time you wake up until you go to bed, and to wear it on your person. You can't just leave it in your purse. And they pick up on it. They'll call you the next day or night and say, 'Hey, you weren't wearing it for 15 minutes yesterday.' "

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • FitFlops – the FlipFlop with the Gym Built In – What we girls really need is something like a flip flop that tones and trims our legs while we run errands. We have no free time…We Want a Workout While We Walk!” FitFlop midsoles incorporate patent-pending microwobbleboard ™ technology, to give you a workout while you walk. One woman reported feeling like she’d had a ‘bum-blasting’ workout after a half an hour of FitFlop-shod walking.

    (Thanks to CPT!)

  • Love Land, first sex theme park in China closed before construction completed – Photographs showed workers pulling down a pair of white plastic legs and hips that appear to be the bottom half of a giant female mannequin towering over the park entrance. The mannequin is wearing a red G-string. The park manager, Lu Xiaoqing, had planned to have on hand naked human sculptures, giant models of genitals, sex technique “workshops” and a photography exhibition about the history of sex. The displays would have included lessons on safe sex and the proper use of condoms. Mr. Lu told China Daily that the park was being built “for the good of the public.” Love Land would be useful for sex education, he said, and help adults “enjoy a harmonious sex life.”
  • Air Traveler Satisfaction Goes Up? Look Beyond The Data – The airline business scored 64 out of 100 in the first quarter of this year, a 3.2% increase over the same period a year ago. Airlines were still among the lowest-scoring businesses in the index, which measured customer satisfaction with the products or services of hotels, restaurants and 14 other sectors. Full-service restaurants scored highest at 84. Airlines scored far below their own index high of 72, achieved in 1994. "It certainly looks like most of these increases, if not all, are due to lower passenger load," says Claes Fornell, professor of business at the University of Michigan and index founder, noting that the recession has kept many Americans from traveling. The lower number of passengers "means more seat availability, shorter lines, more on-time arrival, fewer lost bags, and all that probably adds up to a slightly higher level of satisfaction." He noted that a reduction in the number of flights offered could erase the slight gains achieved in passenger satisfaction.

Time, he’s waiting in the wings

Originally uploaded by Victor Lombardi, who criticizes the addition of arrival data to the NYC subways, because that info shifts the experience into a waiting experience. It’s funny, because I had just spent 40 minutes at the San Francisco airport waiting for an arriving passenger, where they had no signage whatsoever about the different flights. I found it incredibly frustrating and tedious, since I couldn’t stop watching and couldn’t plan what I should do for the next 5, 10, 20, etc. minutes. I was musing to myself that more information – LOTS more information – makes waiting more tolerable. In-flight maps give you more information, allowing you to participate vicariously in the flight you are on (rather than passively as a butt-in-a-seat). Add in the good-vibes of transparency and it’s obvious…

And then Challis blogged the story about the post office removing clocks which hit the blogosphere with a predictable critique — the post office is playing Big Brother by removing info that would make us less satisfied with the experience. Challis would probably agree with my call for transparency and participation, but what would Victor think about the post office? Do the clocks shift the waiting time to something less pleasant?

Clearly, it depends on the person, their frame of mind, and the location. Lots of context to consider. But the contrasting examples seemed provocative.

Waiting is the hardest part

Lady: I’m sorry, we have no midsized available at moment
Jerry: I don’t understand, I made a reservation, do you have the reservation?
Lady: Yes we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars
Jerry: But reservation keeps car here, that’s why you have reservations
Lady: I know why we have reservations
Jerry: I don’t think you do, if you did, I’d have car. See you know how to take reservation, you just don’t know how to hold reservations. That’s really most important part of reservations, holding, anybody can just take them.

I ordered something from eBay just after Xmas, hoping it would arrive in time for our upcoming trip. It hadn’t arrived, so I checked the shipping status (yep, the shipper sent it USPS with a confirmation on it, very nice of them for $6.99). And the tracking info has been stuck since Dec. 28 with

Dec 27 2005 Mail Retrieved From Customer
Dec 27 2005 Received at UPS Mail Innovations Origin RPF R. Cucamonga, CA
Dec 27 2005 Processed at UPS Mail Innovations Origin RPF R. Cucamonga, CA
Dec 28 2005 Manifested (Postage Paid)
Dec 28 2005 Entered USPS Facility – SCF SAN FRANCISCO, CA

It’s been in San Francisco since December 28. That’s a long time already. I went in last week with the printout of the tracking information and the nice people at my small-town post office took the printout and my phone number and passed it along to the postmaster. I figured they’d call that day and I’d have an update. That was almost a week ago, so I went back in. They still have the piece of paper and the only thing they can tell me is that we can wait for it to arrive.

Wait for it to arrive? What is the purpose of a tracking number? The package is obviously stuck in some sort of delivery problem, it’s a one-day delivery trip from SF to Montara. Nearly two weeks of waiting, and the only thing we get from this tracking technology is that we wait?

It’s a sham, isn’t it? They have no ability to diagnose or debug or actually track the package, regardless of what the name of the feature implies.

I can’t believe they told me to wait. I don’t want to wait; I want them to find it. That, however, is not going to happen.


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